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LECKIE SCHLECKIE: Fortunate son of Postecoglou's era

Australia's Mathew Leckie, center, celebrates scoring against the United Arab Emirates during their world Cup qualifying soccer match in Sydney, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Australia's Mathew Leckie, center, celebrates scoring against the United Arab Emirates during their world Cup qualifying soccer match in Sydney, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) Rick Rycroft

FOOTBALL: It was refreshing to see a side without both Matthew Leckie and Robbie Kruse - the former, forced through suspension, for the first time of the Postecoglou era.

Both are wonderful at using their speed to get into dangerous positions but diabolical at knowing what to do next.

Unfortunately, I'll have to concede that Leckie will play in the crucial return leg against Honduras at Telstra Stadium tonight and, for the first time, I will admit he is improving and just about justifies a spot in the first XI. But I reckon if I was given 48 cracks in the national team I'd start to get accustomed to it too.

The United Arab Emirates' Ahmed Khalil, left, and Australia's Mathew Leckie compete for the ball during their World Cup qualifying soccer match in Sydney, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
The United Arab Emirates' Ahmed Khalil, left, and Australia's Mathew Leckie compete for the ball during their World Cup qualifying soccer match in Sydney, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) Rick Rycroft

Remember Mark Viduka? A remarkable player, but his international career is most noted for a lack of goals that belied his club career and even the era of the national, with just 11 goals from 43 caps. Leckie has six international goals from 48 career matches.

Australia has scored the most goals (48) in the world during qualifying (no doubt we also squandered the most), of which attacking player Leckie, who has played the most qualifying matches of all the squad with 18, has contributed just four.

Before we even discuss his unnerving ability to cough up valuable possession, that's one goal in every 12.

That record actually stacks up pretty good compared to the first half of his international career (two goals from 28 matches).

Australia's Mathew Leckie, foreground, intercepts a free kick during the Confederations, Cup Group B soccer match between Cameroon and Australia, at the St.Petersburg stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Australia's Mathew Leckie, foreground, intercepts a free kick during the Confederations, Cup Group B soccer match between Cameroon and Australia, at the St.Petersburg stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky) Dmitri Lovetsky

Even his Hertha Berlin player profile is damning, in which statistics driven website whoscored.com singles out 'finishing' as Leckie's primary weakness.

Just two of his goals stand out as quality headers in clutch qualifiers. Add to that a pinpoint cross to Tim Cahill against Syria.

I've been watching closely - that's three moments of brilliance from nigh on 1421 minutes of football. That's a lot of minutes when Ange could've been given someone else a go.

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Topics:  ange postecoglou matthew leckie socceroos world cup qualifying